I don't think we're close to another Star Trek "Dark age" anytime soon and we have those movies to thank for that, regardless of what the existing fandom thinks of those movies.
The "dark ages" that we grew up with were during a time when it was assumed that people would not keep buying the same franchise year after year. Trekkies, and sci-fi fans in general, proved that keeping a franchise going was a viable option.
But, fandoms are not going to get or stay as big because there is more competition. Stuff like "Fortnight" or "Call of Duty" are hug by today's standards. But, they are positively anemic by classic standards.
So appealing to a mass audience ensures that the company producing it sees it as something consistently viable and keeps putting out new content.
The question is how reliably does the mass audience keep coming back. A fandom provides a predictable "base" for something, which is why many content producers fall into the trap of only playing towards fans.
Newbury Comics is a local chain that sells pop-culture. Call them a comic store, a music store or whatever. They sell pop culture. And, their inventory is some of the least reliable of anything that I have seen. I have seen and found out about more things at Newbury (which I use as a tertiary source for comics) than anywhere else. But, I do not use them for anything consistent because I cannot trust them. (Their pull-file system is less reliable than the shelves at many other stores.)
But, Newbury is not pitching to fans. They are pitching to the masses.
I hope it appeals to enough people to ensure that it continues to be a thing.
He-Man will be held back by poor brand management and worse distribution (as it has for the last 20 years).
1. Ditch the baggage. No one new is going to come into a story that's literally 100 years old (Action Comics #1 came out in I think 1920). Nor is anyone new going to sift through that much content to spin the wheel on hitting a story they might like.
Picking a run or arc to read assumes that the new reader can find a coherent and reliable summary (which many fans are incapable of providing).
Contrary to popular belief, most comics do not require readers to have years of backstory memorized. I have gone back to various series after skipping them for years, but have not needed to read up on anything that I have missed.
2. Make comics more available. Sell them everywhere and anywhere that magazines are sold. Diamond is a monopoly that needs to be broken so that there can be competition to get comics to places more accessible to more people.
Diamond is not the problem here. Do you really think that Diamond is making a concerted effort to not sell more comics in more places? Do yo think that publishers would not tell Diamond where to go and what to do with themselves if they could sell more comics without diamond?
The simple fact is that comics are only going to sell so well outside of a comic store. Many stores would not consider comics worth the shelf space.
3. Advertise everywhere. Seriously. The only places I see ads for comics... are in other comics
Print media is supposed to sell/be advertising, not buy advertising.
Marvel and DC selling car ads (which makes them money) is correct. IDW advertising its own product is incestuous, and model destined for failure.
People know that comics exist. But, they do not see comics are worth buying.
The New 52 would have done better if they had gone with the most popular iterations of their characters, advertised it everywhere to get new people reading it and made it more available so that people could easily buy it.
Many of the changes to DC with "New 52" were for the purpose of making the characters screen friendly (less spandex, more armor and such).
Another? The Star Trek "dark age" hasn't ended, so long as people like Alex Kurtzman are in charge of it...
By "dark age", he means "lack of new content".